MUSCAT – The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon 2022 proved to be a fine example of Oman’s potential to become one of the world’s leading long-distance running locations. Featuring the full marathon, the half marathon, and the 10km run, the day began early as thousands of athletes took to the start line for the 6am starting gun.
After 33 minutes and 30 seconds, the first runner to cross the line in the 10km run was Mohammad Bagheri Taj Amir followed by Majid bin Mohammed bin Khalfan Al Jahdami in a time of 33 minutes and 41 seconds and Salim Al-Shukaili in third place with a time of 34 minutes and 7 seconds. The first female to cross the line was Andrea Kovarova in a time of 56 minutes and 22 seconds. Hanan Abdullah came in second in a time of 57 minutes and 20 seconds and the third finisher was Girlie Calvario clocking in 57 minutes and 28 seconds.
The next batch of runners to cross the finishing line came from the half marathon. Inyasi Sulley from Tanzania won the race with an impressive time 1 hour and 3 minutes, closely followed by Issac Kibet from Uganda in 1 hour and 4 minutes. Abdelali Bouazzaoui from Morocco finished third in a time of 1 hour and 6 minutes.
An hour later, the marathon runners began appear on the horizon. Eluid Too from Kenya showed his desire and determination, leading the field across the line in a time of 2 hours and 17 minutes. Bernard Cheptoch from Uganda finished second in a time of 2 hours and 19 minutes, with Jackson Kiprop from Uganda coming third in a time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. The first female to cross the line was Sophy Jepchirchir from Kenya in a time of 2 hours and 26 minutes. Finishing in close after was Emmah Cheruto Ndiwa from Kenya at 2 hours and 38 minutes and the third competitor to finish was Norah Chebet from Kenya in a time of 2 hours and 44 minutes.
After the elite athletes took centre stage on day one, the second day saw the fun runners and children – many taking part in their first ever Al Mouj Muscat Marathon race – show that there is a race for everyone.
Leading off with the 5km run, the day once again began early as thousands of athletes – including official race ambassadors Ali Al Habsi, Oman’s legendary goalkeeper and renowned broadcaster and television personality Ibtihal Al Zadjali – set off.
In the Kids’ Runs, runners in the overall 1km race set a ferocious pace, with the first group crossing the line after just 4 minutes. Zaid Yusuf Said Al Dhamri took the gold and Edmund Brett came in second, notching a time of 4 minutes and 6 seconds. Yarub AlYarubi finished third in a time of 4 minutes and 7 seconds.
The overall 2km race was won by Layan Al Batrani in a time of 7 minutes and 6 seconds ahead of Almutasim Al Harrasi in second with a time of 8 minutes and 9 seconds. Nibras Al Muselhi finished third in a time of 8 minutes and 20 seconds.
The 3km race was just as close. After a tough battle, the overall race winners were Zahra Yaqoob Mohammed Al Naabi, who crossed the finishing line first in a time of 8 minutes and 7 seconds ahead of Osama AlRahbi in second with a time of 10 minutes and 52 seconds. Aditya Wandre finished third in a time of 11 minutes and 14 seconds.
Ali Al Ajmi, General Manager of Sabco Sports, organizers of the event, said, “This was a perfect example of how strong-willed athletes have to be. These are very long distances across the terrain and the training has been challenging, but to see the smiles on the faces of every finisher makes it all worthwhile. The crowd has certainly enjoyed the occasion too, with hundreds of spectators cheering on the finishers all along the route and at the finishing line. The festivities continued long after the races finished as everyone enjoyed an array of family-friendly entertainment options at Al Mouj Muscat.”
Nasser Al Sheibani, CEO of Al Mouj Muscat, added, “This entire weekend has been a spectacular event, showing the very best of community, athleticism, and fun. Oman is the perfect destination for sporting events and Al Mouj Muscat the ideal location to host such a diverse and vibrant event. The ambience within the destination helps to make special memories and has made the event so much more than just a race. Seeing spectators cheering on the runners over both days is really great and with so much to do at Al Mouj Muscat it is no surprise that so many stayed at the destination long into the evening.”
The marathon, half-marathon and 10km runs are all certiﬁed by world-running organisation AIMS, aligning the event with World Athletics standards, meaning completing the race adds to a runners’ ranking which enables them to compete in high-profile events around the world. The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon 2022 was an incredible success with over 12,000 runners registered across all categories. For more information and the full results, please visit www.muscatmarathon.om. Details about how to take part in the 2023 edition will be released in the coming weeks.
Photos: V K Shafeer